La Salle reasserts mastery over Ateneo in season debut

By Ardyn Gonzales

The De La Salle University Lady Spikers extended their winning streak over the Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles via a 25-17, 17-25, 25-17, 25-15 victory in the UAAP Season 82 women’s volleyball tournament, Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

La Salle was haunted with unforced errors, giving 11 free points to Ateneo in the opening frame. Although the Lady Spikers won the first set, the Lady Eagles took advantage of the errors in the second set.

Trailing 11-14, the defending champions sparked a 14-3 run to turn things around in the match. It was an almost perfect performance as they only had a single error, while La Salle had 8.

Tied at 1-1, La Salle quickly responded in the third set as after a 16-15 lead heading into the technical timeout, they pulled off their own run and never looked back for a 2-1 advantage.

Momentum has stayed with the side of the Lady Spikers as they zoomed into a 20-7 start, paralyzing both the offense and defense of the Lady Eagles. Ateneo scored a couple of points, but it was not enough to mount a comeback.

Graduating senior Tin Tiamzon led La Salle with a triple double output in her season debut, tallying 17 points, 12 excellent digs and 13 receptions. Sophomore Jolina Dela Cruz contributed with 13 markers, while blue chip rookie Thea Gagate was all over the net with team-high 5 blocks to go with 5 attacks.

The Lady Spikers out-attacked Ateneo, 53-23, as the latter struggled with their floor defense that led to poor execution of their offense.

Faith Nisperos was the lone bright spot for the Lady Eagles, carrying the scoring load with 13 points while veterans Jho Maraguinot and Kat Tolentino were held down to just 9 and 6 markers, respectively.

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